Friday, February 24, 2006

Sky-Hi Lee

Ag pleez deddy won't you take us to the wrestling
we wanna see an ou called Sky-Hi Lee
When he fights Willie Liebenberg there's gonna be a murder
'coz Willie's gonna donner that blerrie Yankee

From my previous entry about Jeremy Taylor's song, I researched these two names and found they were real wrestlers in the 1950s, and Willie is actually a friend of Jeremy's and is now a sports coach (though he must be about 70).
I couldn't find a picture of Willie (though I did get pages of his fights though not against Sky-Hi) but have got one of Sky-Hi, who as you can see really was.

Wrestler: Sky Hi Lee
Real Name: Robert E. Leedy
Birthday: 1921
Hometown: Canada
Height & Weight: 6'9" - 290 lbs
Notable Feuds: Bobo Brazil
Larry Moquin
Don Leo Jonathan
Mel Dove


Anonymous said...

If he suffered from giantism, he would have grown much much taller than 6'9". Andre The Giant was well over 8 feet, closer to 9 feet when he died. Andre never once stopped growing. Also, people with giantism don't live a long life.

One other thing...not everyone who is tall has giantism. Paul Wight is 7'0" and doesn't have giantism; Mark Calloway is 6'10" and doesn't have giantism; Glenn Jacobs is 7'0" and doesn't have giantism.

It is possible that Sky-Hi Lee was only "billed" as having giantism. It does happen in professional wrestling.

David said...

Technically you're right, I read he died young from a condition related to his height, which was more likely to be Marfan's syndrome which gives you an enlarged heart. But he did have a genetic disorder even though he wasn't so tall as you said.

Anonymous said...

He did not have giantism/gigantisism. His death was not as a result of his physical size. He died on a surgerical table.

David said...

Thanks anon, I could only go by the few websites I came across, which can't be totally relied on, so have to wait for people who know more than they do to know.

Jonquil said...

My great aunt said that she went with her husband to see Sky-Hi Lee fight in Fort Wayne, Indiana once and her husband said that he was his first cousin. She said they spoke to him after the fight. My great uncle was born here in the US in Indiana. I was wondering where you found the info that said Sky-Hi was born in Canada - I can't seem to find anything else about his life. Thanks!

David said...

Will do Jennifer, he has a few entries including wikipedia, but all the best information is his wrestling profile here.
I'll email it on as well to make sure you get it,

thanks, David

JB said...

Another noteable opponent was Willie Liebenberg from South Africa.

David said...

Absolutely- as per the quote, written by Jeremy Taylor who I discovered actually followed them himself and still knows Willie who is a sports coach and priest nowadays. I've been in touch with him for a while so got the inside knowledge from all the words of his songs.

Victor said...

I remember in the early sixties seeing the Huge..Sky High Lee wrestle in London...What a sight! I recall he stood over everyone..including a blond lady that appears to be aqainted to the wrestler as she spoke only in sign as if she was deaf..she got into the ring and started to throw quite a few darts into Sky's back and then gave him a couple of glass tumblers to chew on...All this before a match.
I recall because of his size he didnt do much wrestling in the sense that he more or less slowly walked around the ring and left it to the other wrestler(cant for the life of me remember who) to make all of the moves.
Iv never forgotten that wrestling match and through the power of the internet have found a lot more info on the wrestler Sky Hig Lee

David said...

Great to get so much information, originally he was just a name in a song I heard when I was a kid and now he's a very real person to me from people who have seen him in reality. Wonderful stuff.

David said...

I've edited the gigantism bit following the new information as well.

Art Winters said...

In 1950 on a summer's evening, my father and I went down to Atlanta to see Sky Hi Lee wrestle. He was so strong that when the opponent was on top of him like a cross, Lee just pushed him up while his arms were straight and got up and won. A few days later I met Ski Hi at Venation Country Club. When he shock my hand his hand enveloped my hand and half of my forearm. He was big.

Art Winters

David said...

It's great to hear direct stories about people that may never have been heard of without the internet. I met Jeremy Taylor once and caught up with him recently, and not only did he base the fight with Willie Liebenberg on one he knew about (and probably went to) he is still friends with him, so the song was actually written partly about his own life. Quite amazing when reality comes in to something you just heard on the radio or read on the internet.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting to stumble upon, Ski Hi Lee is actually my Great-Grandfather. Not quite 6'7 290. but 6'3 270, so I now know where I got my size from.

David said...

That's fantastic! I only learnt about him and Willy Liebenberg as I met Jeremy Taylor through my guitarist grandpa who knew him, so learnt the background of the song and how Jeremy knew them back in the 50s. I've specialised in obscure information here mainly on as when I want to find something and it isn't online I add it there when I find it. One record made in London just completed its trip round the world, I found someone with a copy in Japan, the producer contacted me to update my short biography of the group, and was then asked to send a copy to Australia. None of this was possible without a lot of luck before the internet.

Anonymous said...

Not so, he was 6'8, 300lbs, 54 inch chest 87 inch arm reach and was my uncle via marriage. Family rumour aka brother in law is he had a sister in Virginia or Tennissae, getting old, so thats a tad fuzzy.

As a young kid, I have one memory of him with long unbound hair sitting at a kitchen table with my dad, he had a very ferious look on his face and his fingers were punching holes threw his winter all wool cowboy phants, I was terrified and ran out.

He didnt say a word to me or I even think looked at me. I recieved one or two letters from him or his wife and a polaid shot, before he died, I was trying to arrange a visit, he was cremated I was told in the UK.

David said...

So good to get direct information, I found mine on the only other site at the time and shared it as Jeremy had seen him directly and raised an interest. I'll edit the entry now as I think you're the best authority available, and amazing how hearing a song 40 years ago led to such a chain of events- who'd have known Jeremy was a friend of my grandpa and I'd meet him some years later.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the people coming out with information about Sky-Hi Lee. He was my paternal grandfather. My grandmother was his wife, Billie. Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet him. Some say he was an ornery, miserable, horrible man, while others remember him far more fondly. The "anonymous" poster at 8:27pm (confirming his size measurements)...I'm fairly certain you are my father's cousin. So interesting the people you can find online. Should anyone related to Sky-Hi be interested in sharing your information/stories with me, my email address is

David said...

Great to get so many relatives and friends together, my sites include a number of either totally obscure/unique material which all generate similar arrivals, and a few of my late grandpa's musician friends (including of course Jeremy Taylor himself who I met years after hearing the song by total coincidence) I have photos of and again their relatives arrive and add their own information. We couldn't do this before the internet.